Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich Meltdown: Philadelphia Sandwich vs. Big B's Hangover

BigBsCheesesteak1.jpg
Ryan Jones
Big B's Steak w/ Wiz all wrapped up pretty
Thanks to Philadelphia restaurateurs Pat and Harry Olivieri, hungry meat lovers have been enjoying what is now known as the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich since the 1930s. The original sandwich was lacking the crucial "cheese" component, but that was remedied later with the addition of mild provolone (Cheez Whiz didn't make its debut until the 1950s but is now considered the quintessential cheesesteak cheese).

Since then, the combination of fried steak and melty cheese on a soft roll has become a staple in Old Town Scottsdale's late-night diet with help from the 24-hour eatery Philadelphia Sandwich Company.

The sandwich institution, which sat at the corner of Fifth Ave and Scottsdale Road for the past seven years, recently picked up and moved to the giant space that once housed the shuttered White House club, next to the Dos Gringos on Craftsman Court.

So what took over their old spot? Another cheesesteak sandwich shop, duh.

Big B's Hangover is the new kid on the block, serving late-night hot steak and chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and sliders.

So of course, we had to pit them against their predecessors.

May the best cheesesteak win!

PhillySandwich1.jpg
Ryan Jones
That's a good-lookin' sandwich!
In This Corner: Philadelphia Sandwich Company

The Setup: The 24-hour eatery has been feeding the hungry Scottsdale party scene since 2005. Their new location is over 4,000 square feet, complete with pool table, drum set, and plenty of inside seating. The late-night lines are still long, so be prepared when you get the counter -- that means you know exactly what you want and you have your money in hand. No exceptions.

The Good: The roll was soft and chewy, the meat was cooked perfectly, the onions were diced and grilled, the Whiz was gooey -- and it was pretty -- just like a Philly Cheesesteak should be. Plus, we're totally diggin' the new space. It's light and spacious, and super-clean.

The Bad: We couldn't really taste the onions; we could only see them -- and the sandwich as whole was a kind of boring. There wasn't much to complain about but that's because it was just wasn't anything special. And although the space is clean and huge, it kinda reminds us of a frat house. A really nice frat house, but a frat house nonetheless.

Location Info

Venue

Map

Big B's Hangover - CLOSED

7158 E. 5th Ave., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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43 comments
Leespeace
Leespeace

I second this. Most definitely paid to say first say that they liked PSC's new space and then trash it a few sentences later. Good job, New Times. Your reviews no longer matter in MY book. I dunno about anyone else.

kindofabigdeal
kindofabigdeal

im gonna go ahead and put this out there, one member of my family used to sell the meats to pat's and geno's.   he chose PSC.  Not only is it the better sandwich, but the owner is from the tri state area and knows what he is doing.   i've tried Big B's and its Sh$$Y a$$ food.  Fu^&in wannabe's.

K.J.S
K.J.S

The Phoenix Cheesesteak Company

SunDevilRick75
SunDevilRick75

I have had Pat's more times than I can count and PSC is the closest thing to it in AZ. I went in there Saturday night and had a great sandwhich wit. I ordered a soda and as I was eating I lamented that they didnt have birch beer and the guy behind the counter said here you go and handed me a glass. BIG BUCKET OF WIN!

PhillyBoy
PhillyBoy

Agree with the rest of us from Philly regarding authenticity.  Maybe what Big B makes is some kind of steak sandwich but it ain't from Philadlephia.  Once they added the peppers and diced mushrooms (diced?  For the love of God, if you are going to have a mushroom steak, they need to be sliced and sauteed), they lost authenticity.  All those extras are fine as add ons, if so desired, but a proper cheesesteak is meat, roll, Whiz (although provolone also works...see Jim's, 4th and South) and grilled onions (optional).  That's it.  From the picture, it doesn't even look like anything from Philly.  All you have to do is look at the menus to see which is authentic and which isn't.  PSC is the place is you want a real Philadelphia style cheesesteak...hands down.

jliven23
jliven23

Subway steak and cheese on the italian roll toasted with swiss, green peppers, olives and chipotle mayo. BAM...put it in the contest next year!

Zachary Henning
Zachary Henning

Philly's is by far the best in the State.  A company/business group that owns 5 restaurants in Old Town that "buys out" the corner lot and kicks the former Philly guys out - for pure greed - is not a place I'd go to and support their business.  Not to mention for them to just open ANOTHER philly restaurant in it's place is just asking for trouble, especially when there are so many loyal customers to PSC.  NEWS FLASH folks, BIG MONEY doesn't automatically mean you can bully out the little folks, cause those are the guys with more loyal customers.

Yelnik Igwawa
Yelnik Igwawa

Raised on the Main Line so I know a good cheesesteak.  Been a fan of PSC for several years now, and I've never had a bad cheesesteak there.  I've heard PSC's side of the story about moving, I don't know anything about 'stolen bread'.

But here's what I do know.  PSC makes a really good cheesesteak.  They've always treated me well, every time I've been there.  Trying to IMPROVE a cheesesteak by adding stuff is a mistake, it's a very basic sandwich and great the way it is.  You want add-ons, that's fine, but they should always be optional.  And I've never been to Big B's, and don't expect to go, because I have no reason to STOP going to Philadelphia Sandwich Company.

Bottom line?  I like PSC.  'Nuff said.

Brent Keeler
Brent Keeler

Big B's should be called big DB's!  PSC is the best in Phoenix and always will be.  I love how the writer of the article is being called out several times for this being a paid for and fraudulent article, but doesn't have any defense.  Truth is I guarantee this article was paid for because there is no contest who is better and the origional.  Big DB's can kick rocks.

Steve D.
Steve D.

Other "Battle of the Dishes" columns don't feature such hateful exchange between anonymous commenters who are obviously owners/employees of the two restaurants. 

At least the commentary is authentic Philly, even if one of the sandwiches isn't.

Angel
Angel

Would you expect anything less with guys from Philly???  Living up to the stereotype for sure!!  Yo...Yo....Yo......... Howz u dooin.....

Drummingtodd
Drummingtodd

Fyi steve. I am not, nor have i ever been employed by eather resturant. I've worked in old town for a year & half. I'm just a patron giving his opinion.

Tblake
Tblake

Hey Shannon, go fuck yourself. Everybody in old town knows the truth. Take your journalistic ass and go find a homeless guy to write about. Maybe you will get that story right?

adam s
adam s

Almost Philly sandwich shop vs fake Philly sandwich shop run by local douchecanoe.

Gasp!

I have been going to PSC since I moved to the valley from Northeastern PA 5 years ago. It is the closest I have found in any non Philadelphia/Eastern/Northeastern PA location. Period.

Big B's is  what you would expect from someone who thinks Stingray or RA is a good example of a sushi joint. The food is barely up to tourist standards. It's a god damn mess, run by a complete twat. Joke of a "philly cheese" establishment.

PSC is not bonafide philly, regardless of what they claim. However, it's a nanometer off. Were these guys IN philly, it would be legit. The water used in the bread making .. makes a difference. They put out the extra effort to get Pennsyltucky natives like me tasty kakes and birch beer. They are down to earth normal dudes when you come in. I don't know where the magical unicorn princess of a counter girl was, the person I ordered from at Big Sleaze barely seemed to notice I was waiting.

If I pay New Times a few c-notes can I get you to publish an article about how I turned down the Yankees to pursue a career in healing sick children in 3rd world countries? I bet I could pull a ton of dumb scottsdale snooch with that angle.

R Chinese
R Chinese

So, Dumb kid doesn't pay rent, builds a new restaurant in a stupid location and then loses in the press at what he's supposed to be good at and then gets violent!!
This is painful to watch! PSC will be closed by July with their desperate groupons and lame ass sandwiches. Great business plan dipshit!

adam s
adam s

So, let me guess. Inundating Old Town with mediocre joints that fail at producing their intended fare. That is a good business plan? 

PSC
PSC

yep 7 years in business and a desperate attempt to copy the business by a group of sad old men.  Imitation is the highest form of flattery, stick with raw fish "sensi"

StopCrying
StopCrying

There has always been a sandwich shop in that location.  It can't be anything else?  Just like the Philly Cheese steak business that these guys took over three years ago in that location.  It was not started by the current owners.  Seems like these guys are whining about competition rather than just beating them with better food and service.  Maybe Philidelphia Sandwich company thinks they own the rights to food after 12am or french fries,  maybe they invented cheese whiz??  What a joke.....

adam s
adam s

Uhh, why would they stick with raw fish? Stingray is fucking horrible.

Linkindustries
Linkindustries

It was a great time watching brian scream and throw a tantrum in front of the police when they forced him to give the bread he stole back, i look forward to watching your melt down 

Pknockle
Pknockle

How much did they pay this guy to write this? I gave big' b a chance and I throw my sandwich away and found PSC. Clearly can't trust this writter.

Rloweleo
Rloweleo

I hope B's goes out business. The food is horrible.

Fleeld65
Fleeld65

Wanna B's will never compare to PSC! What a joke! This article is complete shit! Writer should be fired! The pictures speak for themselves, they don't even unwrap the Big B's cheese steak. LOL Because we all know the truth! 

pac0naut
pac0naut

I'll post what I posted on Facebook...The abridged version....

Apparently the writer has never actually been to Pat's nor Geno's and I'll raise them Jim's, Stevie's and Tony Luke's for good measure."who is also responsible for popular Scottsdale hot spots Stingray Sushi, Geisha A Go-Go, Jimmy Woo's, and Spanish Fly."

Sorry, I don't trust a guy who owns a sushi jawn to make my cheesesteak. 

In fact, HAS the writer set foot in Philadelphia, ever?  I scoff at the people who tell me they had a "cheesesteak" when they were in the Philadelphia airport.  This review seems just like that.

I thoroughly reject this review and substitute my own opinion as someone who is from near Philly.  And let the record show that King of Cheese Steaks is correct in saying that we are the most brutal reviewers of anything that calls themselves a cheesesteak place.  Oh, and yes, you do need to know what you need to order when you get up to the line.  Pat's, Geno's AND Jim's do this.  No exceptions.

King of Cheese Steaks
King of Cheese Steaks

 I was BORN AND RAISED in Philly and couldn't be MORE critical of ANYONE trying to pass themselves an authentic Philly Cheese steak.

I just got back from Big B's and I can assure you with all certainty that:

1. A true Philly cheese steak would never fall apart into a heap of big mess like mine did (as did the reviewers)
2. Diced Peppers, Mushrooms and Onions are ADD ON'S, NOT automatically put in a Philly Chease Steak!
3. It's ALL about the bread.

I have lived all over the country and the only place I can get a TRUE tasty Philly Cheese Steak Other than 9th Street at Geno's or Pat's IS at Philadelphia Sandwich!! The bread is perfect and the sandwiches are consistent and perfectly Philly. Big B's isn't even qualified to be in the contest, let alone a contender! I call Shenanigans on this stilted review.

Drummingtodd
Drummingtodd

Screw Big B's!!! Philly sandwich Co is WAAAAYYY better. I love the new spot. More room, FREE pool table, better cheese steak, better prices. Who ever wrote this artical is a retard!!!

Just a Guy
Just a Guy

I have eaten at both and think both have good food...No reason for a comparison.  Let Philadelphia Sandwich Company do their thing and let Big B's Do theirs.  Not that you can ever compare the places but Gino's and Pat's exist and both have great business.  Like one, like the other, like em both...who cares.  All the blustering about leases and bread stealing...customers don't care.  Just go serve a good sandwich and see what happens.

Jesse
Jesse

Funny how the article doesn't mention anything about big b stealing psc bread deliveries, or pushing them out of their old lease before it was up. Fuck big b, and their cunty ass hat owners

Jason Moss
Jason Moss

I don't think PSC expanded because their not good. This article is total BS. Don't let a Phoenician try to judge a Philly Cheese steak and since New Times have lead me to bad food before I know I can't trust their food critics. PSC is the closest thing to a real Philly Cheese steak. Max's Taste of Philly is 2nd and Uncle Sam's only if the other two places didn't exist. Everything else, Corleone's, Forefathers, Capriotti's, Big B's, (haven't tried Defalco's cheese steak), etc... All total garbage. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a AZ place that uses ribeye, like in Philly.

Katie
Katie

Been eating PSC for years on years, nothing can beat there cheese steaks or there service! Once you get to know the counter people, they remember you and they become quiet nice. 
I did go in to big b's and was not impressed. The counter lady "So called the owner" gave me a free hot dog I think desprete for business, and honestly it just wasn't that good. I think they offer to many things for there own good and only one cook. It took like tens for a simple hot dog, WTF! Its never takes that long at psc and there food always melts in your mouth and you can never have to worry about whats about for late night food, PSC is!

sam
sam

I disagree with the winner of this article, it does not take into consideration any of the other dishes that each makes as a whole i mean c'mon if you wanted mushrooms and peppers on the phili sandwich co they have that as an option. Also from what i recall Big B's does not have those incredible onion rings, this article was definitely bought and not a true rating of food quality vs. food quality

Erin
Erin

That is ridiculous. Philly's is a staple of Old Town. I've never had a bad sandwich, they deliver quickly and the staff is the best. Big B's is brave to try and follow in the shoes of Phillys. The only thing they have going for them is the location.

Daily
Daily

Having a sandwich shop in 4000ft2 is the bad idea.....

Bradalatorre
Bradalatorre

Wow sounds like a load of crap from a group of people that smell like womens hygiene product.

DragonLady
DragonLady

Went into Big B's by accident and was not impressed. Place was not clean, and we went in the afternoon. The counter person had to ask for the order 3 times and still didn't get it right.  Ended up having to pick stuff off of the sandwich that I didn't want.  Bread was stale on one end.  Considering everything these guys don't know what they are doing.  On the other hand in all of the years of going to Philly Sandwich we have never had a bad sandwich.  Not going back to Big B's again. 

Dina
Dina

Big B's is great!!  The old Philly guys are rude a%^holes and very dirty.  How the Health Department let Philidelphia sandwich shop operate a disgusting kitchen was beyond me.....

JenniZ
JenniZ

I totally agree Dina!!  Out with the old in with the new.  Authentic or not they taste better and that's what the article is about!  Delicious!!!  

the DALE Lambo
the DALE Lambo

 Yah right! You must work at Big B's or one of those other owned by old town group establishments. Laughable... The Real Old Town people know PSC will always be the best!

Linkindustries
Linkindustries

I wonder how much the old town group payed for that article, Philadelphia sandwich company is by far the best cheesesteak shop in the valley, steak-um's on a hotdog bun is not a real cheesesteak

Mrfu
Mrfu

It's fun to watch Daddy fight JRs battles

Linkindustries
Linkindustries

it was fun watching a grown man scream and cry to the police when he was caught with his pants down 

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